Three Forms of Evidence in a Delaware DUI Case
An arrest for drunk driving is just the beginning of a Delaware DUI case, since being charged is not the same as a conviction. Police only needed probable cause to make the arrest, but a prosecuting attorney needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were over the limit or impaired. At your criminal court case, the prosecutor will present various facts and documents in an effort to convict you. A Wilmington, DE DUI defense attorney can tell you more about three key pieces of evidence likely to be offered as proof, and will develop a strategy to defend against them.
- Police Report: An arresting officer must submit a police report containing the facts and circumstances surrounding the encounter. It is important to note that this document is the personal, highly subjective opinion of the officer. The police report is subject to considerable bias, especially as law enforcement is encouraged to get a conviction for every arrest. Though it may be supported by objective evidence, such as a dash cam video, the report is rather weak on its own. However, if officers show up in court to testify against you, their statements can be very powerful evidence in your DUI case.
- Field Sobriety Tests: Before arresting you, police may ask you to take one or more field sobriety tests to assess your level of impairment. Based on your performance, officers may obtain enough probable cause to charge you. However, there are ways to challenge the officer’s evaluation when your case goes to court. For instance, you may have a medical condition that affects your physical capabilities, which impacts your test results. Plus, field sobriety tests administered under problematic weather or environmental conditions can provide erroneous results. Uneven or slippery surfaces, wind, poor lighting, and related factors can have a major impact when you are requested to do a one-legged stand or walk-and-turn test.
- Breath, Blood, and Urine Tests: Because they are backed by science, many people assume chemical tests are the most convincing evidence against you in a Delaware drunk driving case. However, the results can still be contested in the court room.
Breathalyzer exams, the most common means of assessing your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), can produce inaccurate results for many different reasons. The breathalyzer machine may not have been properly maintained or calibrated before you blow into it. In addition, the operator must be licensed and trained through a court-approved curriculum. You can even dispute the results of a breathalyzer if you burped, as the gas escaping your body can lead to false-positive readings. Blood tests are also subject to error, as the specimen can easily be contaminated and is only usable for a short amount of time.
Call Now to Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer
If you have questions about DUI laws in Delaware and ways to fight drunk driving charges, please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica to set up a consultation. You can reach our Wilmington, DE office by calling 302.600.1262 or visiting us online. We can tell you more about your legal options and get started on a defense strategy after reviewing the details of your case.